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Grace Baptist Mission CIO
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Cannibalism to Christ
Jason Murfitt explains the ministry the Lord has given them over the last two years among a small group of the Apurina tribe in Brazil.
Imagine you had neither microwave nor cooker, but a small open fire you kept stoked
in the corner of your one-
My introduction came in May 2013, having been invited by an American missionary, Brad, who needed me to translate his English into Portuguese, so that the chief could translate me into their indigenous language. I had been to other tribes before and since, but along with that first trip came a ‘call’ from the Lord as he warmed my heart toward the Indians. Straight away I could see their greatest spiritual and practical need.
First, a little history. Until just a few generations ago these Indians had been
naked and fearsome cannibals who would hunt by day, with bow and arrow, eat their
prey, then gather leaves together under which they would sleep at night. It wasn’t
until the mid-
The original missionaries to this group were two women from Wycliffe Bible Translators.
They have retired, leaving behind the New Testament, portions of the Old and a hymn
book in the tribal language, a brick church building and a small group of true believers.
So what is their greatest spiritual and practical need? And how are we seeking to
help them? They are surviving, but they are far from thriving. In their forty-
From an early age, we as westerners are taught to sit and listen to stories, analyse information, and evaluate what is going on elsewhere in the world. We study to work, then work to earn money that we spend and save as we plan for tomorrow. These concepts are very new or unknown to our Indian friends. So to teach about the necessity of prayer meetings, tithing, reading the Bible for yourself, considering other’s spiritual needs, how what we do or don’t do each day effects our tomorrows, when so much of their time and effort is invested in mere survival, is a great challenge, often only producing sparse and knotted fruit.
This is why since 2014 I have invested most my time spent among my Indian brethren
teaching the leaders, so that they may be qualified to teach others (2 Tim 2:2).
One of the preachers is Oscar, who is a hunter and fisherman, the only one they consider
officially married in the tribe and father of four young boys. His understanding
of biblical truth is limited, his skill in preaching as yet undeveloped, but he is
a true brother: dependable, faithful and a backbone to the fellowship. His wife Ana-
We gather for a leadership meeting on the first and last night of each visit to discuss church matters. Then study together each week day to learn better the art of teaching and preaching. We base the lessons on a sermon guide I have designed on the gospel of Luke, which they use to help them develop their own sermon notes. The ultimate goal is for the saints there to thrive in Christ’s service, and to one day be in a position to train up and send out workers into their corner of God’s tropical mission field.